West Yorkshire League: Boroughbridge and Ripon eye immediate return to Premier Division

Ripon City manager Mick Baldwin.  (1508083AM2)

Ripon City manager Mick Baldwin. (1508083AM2)

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Boroughbridge and Ripon City will both begin their bid for an immediate return to the West Yorkshire Premier Division on the road on Saturday.

The neighbours were relegated alongside each other after a dismal year for North Yorkshire sides in the top tier last season.

NARG 1508083AM1 Ripon City V Redcar Newmarket. (1508083AM1)

NARG 1508083AM1 Ripon City V Redcar Newmarket. (1508083AM1)

Following their relegation, Steve Donoghue stepped down as Ripon City manager, with ex-boss Mick Baldwin returning to take over the reins.

Legendary figure Daz Ekin remains in charge at Aldborough Road and has been busy assembling a squad for a promotion bid over the summer months.

His transfer activity has involved raiding rivals Ripon, with James McDaid, Darren Simpson and Ben Jones all switching Mallerie Park for the blue shirts of Boroughbridge this season.

The departures have left Baldwin with an inexperienced squad ahead of the new season, but he was hopeful his ploy to “play the ball on the ground” would spark a run towards the promotion places.

NARG 1508083AM4 Ripon City V Redcar Newmarket. (1508083AM4)

NARG 1508083AM4 Ripon City V Redcar Newmarket. (1508083AM4)

The returning boss said: “I am enjoying the challenge and I’m excited for the start of the season.

“Hopefully we can do ourselves justice and give a good account of ourselves. If we don’t succeed, it certainly won’t be for the want of trying.

“My philosophy is just to tell the lads to do the easy things.

“Football is an easy game, there’s no point making it hard. It’s an easy game made hard.

“I have always looked to play on the floor.

“It doesn’t always get you results but we’re not going to change it and start lumping it around.

“We have some decent footballers in there too with some good young lads that have come in from various young sides like Harrogate Town U19s who are looking to play senior football.”

It won’t be long until both managers can make a direct comparison of their squads, with the first North Yorkshire derby of the season primed for Wednesday (August 19).

Boroughbridge will welcome their rivals – playing in a new red and white strip this season – to Aldborough Road, with the match due to kick-off at 6.15pm.

‘Bridge prepared for the opening day of the season with a double defeat against former County Champions Salts FC last Saturday.

An under strength first team fell to a 3-1 defeat, with Jack Campbell netting the solitary home strike from an acute angle on 63 minutes.

Gabriel Bradley and Chris Champman were on target as ‘Bridge’s reserves lost 3-2 in the second fixture of the day.